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Monday, October 10, 2011

Will Voter Apathy Kill Sports Wagering in NJ?

Forget about the fact the Federal law banning sports betting in most states needs to be overturned or declared unconstitutional, according to John Brennan of The Record, the biggest threat to sports wagering in New Jersey may be voter apathy. 

For State Senator Lesniak to re-file his lawsuit against the Federal law which bans sports wagering in New Jersey, a referendum (copy of the question available here) needs to be approved by New Jersey voters in the November election and legislation enabling sports wagering at casinos and racetracks needs to be passed.  You may ask with the current poll showing support for the referendum being 52% in favor to 31% opposed, the referendum should be the least of the problems.  But it is not.  The way the demographics splits on this issue, a key voting segment for those in favor of sports wagering is not only men, but those who are under the age of 25 and there lies the problem.  Unless you are an extreme political junkie, it is unlikely the State Senate and Assembly elections are going to excite those under 25 to take the time to vote in the election as there are no US Senate, Congressional, or Presidential elections to get the youth out to vote.

The question is, will the possibility of sports wagering eventually coming to New Jersey going to excite the youth vote to show up?  If not, the possibility of the referendum passing becomes a 50-50 proposition at best.  As Brennan goes into further detail, how confident are you of this referndum passing when women tend to vote more than men in these elections and voters tend to be older than younger?  It's may be a question of who shows up to vote and it may be a long night for supporters of this referendum.

I have never endorsed any political candidate or issue on this website nor will I start now, but if you feel passionate about this issue, you have no right to complain about the results either way if you don't vote.  Voting can be done in person or by absentee ballot (must already be registered), so apathy is your only excuse for not voting.

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